Akero Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKRO) is engaged as a clinical-stage biotechnology company that is focused on the research and development of innovative treatments for metabolic diseases with high unmet medical needs. Shares of the biotech company are skyrocketing 122% through early trading on Tuesday, September 13, 2022. At the start of the trading day, Akero Therapeutics maintained a somewhat lofty short float of 20.71%. The strong clinical results released this morning may have forced some short sellers to cover their positions.
Over the past three months, Akero Therapeutics has seen an average daily volume of 407,240 shares. However, volume of 34.03 million shares or dollar volume of around $910.98 million, has already exchanged hands through early trading.
Shares of Akero Therapeutics are surging after the company reported topline results from its Phase 2b HARMONY study on efruxifermin (EFX) in patients with pre-cirrhotic non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), fibrosis stage 2 or 3. The results show that the study successfully met its primary and secondary endpoints for both 50mg and 29mg EFX dose groups, in which 41% and 39% of EFX-treated patients saw at least a one-stage improvement in liver fibrosis and no worsening NASH symptoms by week 24, compared to only 20% in the placebo group.
The secondary endpoint was met when 76% and 47% of patients treated with 50mg and 28mg, respectively, saw sustained NASH control without worsening fibrosis symptoms. This compares to the placebo group, which only saw 15% of patients control NASH while not aggravating fibrosis symptoms. EFX-treated patients also saw improvements in liver fat & enzymes, non-invasive fibrosis markets, glycemic control, lipoproteins and body weight.
“We believe today’s results from the HARMONY study are an important milestone not only for Akero but for the entire NASH community,” said Andrew Cheng, M.D., Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Akero. “As the fastest growing cause of liver transplantation and liver cancer in the US and Europe, NASH represents a substantial and growing health burden. We believe the data are very compelling and show EFX’s potential to meet the critical, global unmet need for patients by intervening across stages of disease progression, potentially addressing both early-stage metabolic drivers and later-stage inflammation and fibrosis.”
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